Guests’ Corner: Alicia Chamaillé, A Wandering Hobbit

As part of the next instalment in my Guests’ Corner, a new travel interview segment on Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, I chatted to SA Insta blogger and writer, Alicia Chamaillé.

Alicia was born in a small French village (one that no one has heard of!) – but grew up in the big city of Cape Town, famed for its gorgeous scenery. At a young age, she learnt the power of writing and the magic of words. She also learnt the beauty of capturing life in a single moment, frozen forever.

Alicia is a proud dog owner, a hungry foodie, a never-ending traveller and a wandering hobbit, with dreams of seeing the furthest reaches of this world and sharing it with those who are willing… And so, she hopes her road will go ever on and on, to wonderful and magical places… Follow her visual Instagram feed to see all her adventures, great and small!

1) Who or what inspired you to go into travel blogging?

I’ve always been passionate about writing and over the last few years, I’ve thought countless times about starting a food blog but could never bring myself to start it.

Watching and encouraging the growth of Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust (yes, this very blog that people are hopefully reading this on!) made me realise that I, too, could do it. Starting small, with a focus on blogging through pictures, made perfect sense to me… So thank you for that.

2) What kind of traveller are you: thrill seeker, culture vulture, adrenaline junkie, nature lover or something of everything?

I’d never call myself a thrill seeker or adrenaline junkie – my survival instincts are too on-point for that! I love learning and experiencing new cultures especially through food (even though I’m among the fussy eaters out there) and I adore the outdoors. There is something magical in the way the world outside changes everyday… So call me nature-loving-culture-vulture-foodie-extraordinaire!

3) What was your most memorable travel experience in SA?

Without a doubt it has to be De Hoop Nature Reserve. I’ve been three times, twice with school and once with my family – and all before high school yet I remember each visit perfectly.

It is one of those almost untouched beauties, where you can easily forget the world you’ve left behind. The beaches are glorious, the hikes exhilarating and the caves are just waiting to be explored.

4) What was your most humbling or eye-opening local travel experience and why?

Unfortunately, my most humbling travel story isn’t local, so you’ll have to settle for this one. At the beginning of this year, I was driving down from Johannesburg to Cape Town with my boyfriend and our friend.

Long story short: the car broke down around 7pm – just three hours from Cape Town. The stars that night were breathtaking and humbling – billions of them out there, doing their thing, and we’re just one little planet among it all.

5) Worst local travel experience (and if you are comfortable enough to, please explain why)?

Funnily enough, my worst experience was at De Hoop. The first time I went was with school and I was probably too young. The entire primary school went (it was a small school) and I think I was only in Grade 1 and didn’t want to go without my mum… I was very distraught for most of the trip. It is also one of the fondest memories I have of my brother, who was also on the trip and who took care of his little sister.

6) Your top three travel destinations (or road trips) in SA are?

1) I’d love, love, love to travel to Hogsback! I can picture myself driving with friends, stopping along the way and spending a few days there before heading home.

2) I’d also love to explore the Karoo more, driving passed parts of it has only strengthened that desire.

3) And lastly, I’d have to say a trip to Addo Elephant Park… I just want to see those wise, intelligent animals for myself.

7) Any useful travel sites/blogs, either local or international, you can recommend for following?

I tend to jump from one site to another. What works for me (and might not for anyone else) is simply searching and saving ideas. When I’m ready to make the trip, I revisit those ideas and set about planning.

8) If you could travel anywhere in South Africa – or the world in general – right now, where would it be?

Iceland currently has my heart. Everywhere I look there seems to be photographs of other people’s trips with snow-capped mountains, fluffy, plucky ponies, the Northern Lights and hot springs – all that I dream of!

I’m also dying to visit Ireland again and maybe swing by Scotland while I’m at it.

9) Do you have any handy tips for planning a trip/day out in your city, Cape Town?

Travel light and ask for help when you need it. Most Capetonians are friendly enough and will give guidance as best they can.

And it’s always good to have a few places/key points to visit in mind, so that planning your trip is a breeze. The City Sightseeing buses are also really great, and there is nothing wrong about being a tourist in your own city!

10) Best travel advice for locals and tourists?

Dress comfortably… I used to worry (and truthfully still do) that I’m not dressed for the occasion. Like when I visit wine farms, in and around Cape Town, I worry that I’m not chic enough and don’t match my beautiful surrounds or look like the “Insta-famous” do when they visit wine farms. But nothing ruins my day or travels faster than being uncomfortable in my clothes.

To read about all of  Alicia’s amazing travel stories and adventures, you can visit her Instagram feedOr follow her Facebook page.

Thank you very much, Alicia, for appearing in this guest travel segment. Until the next one… happy writing and reading, everyone!

Author: Tamlyn Amber Ryan

Tamlyn Ryan is a writer and blogger, who runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust. Despite a national diploma in Journalism, her preferred niche remains travel writing. She is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and above all else, the great outdoors.

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